drop in acoustic saddle.......

HardCore Troubadour

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hey guys,

what is the best, reasonably priced, "drop in" acoustic saddle out there?

I changed the strings on my "camp-fire" guitar and noticed that the saddle was cracked (plastic/cheap etc. etc.) and I thought since my Martin needs a new one anyways, I would dig around and see what was the best, reasonably priced piece that I could order, and pretty much just drop in and play with just a little height work?

thanks,

HCT
 

WhiteEpiLP

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I've used a drop in tusq saddle on a crummy Denver acoustic, it made quite the improvement to intonation over the factory plastic saddle. I was also able to improve action a bit as this guitar had slide high action.
 

LtDave32

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hey guys,

what is the best, reasonably priced, "drop in" acoustic saddle out there?

I changed the strings on my "camp-fire" guitar and noticed that the saddle was cracked (plastic/cheap etc. etc.) and I thought since my Martin needs a new one anyways, I would dig around and see what was the best, reasonably priced piece that I could order, and pretty much just drop in and play with just a little height work?

thanks,

HCT
HCT, can you give us the dimensions (thickness of) your existing saddle on your campfire guitar?

Is it 1/16 thick?, 3/32? 1/8?

And how long is it, end-to-end?
 
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HardCore Troubadour

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It is .108” (7/64) thick and 2.8” long

I can take measurements for my Martin, if needed.....

Do you shape and sell saddles @LtDave32 ?
 

LtDave32

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It is .108” (7/64) thick and 2.8” long

I can take measurements for my Martin, if needed.....

Do you shape and sell saddles @LtDave32 ?
It is .108” (7/64) thick and 2.8” long

I can take measurements for my Martin, if needed.....

Do you shape and sell saddles @LtDave32 ?
I can certainly shape and install a bone or other saddle, but I need the instrument on the premises.

-or travel to the instrument.

But it's not that hard to do yourself.

Keep the old bridge piece handy for quick reference.

Here's a bone saddle you can fit rather easily to your slot:


3" long, so you just have to trim a tenth of an inch off of each end.

Height is the issue.

If your saddle has not been worked on too much, it should be near the same.

But if your replacing the saddle due to wear issues, then you obviously don't want to match the old saddle exactly to the new one. If string height is good with the old saddle (with wear grooves under the string area), then match the overall height of the old saddle to the new one.

Saddles usually come oversized for this reason; excessive wear is laying the string down too low. So you need to work the saddle down to the correct height, which can be done with dragging the bottom perpendicular to a piece of sandpaper, the paper glued down to a flat surface. 100 grit will take it down rather fast. Be sure to keep the saddle at a 90-degree angle to the paper, or you'll have a poor fit to the bottom of the bridge slot. You need a good, full contact of the bridge slot and saddle bottom, so keep the saddle perpendicular at all times when removing material.

If the new saddle is hugely higher than the old one, you can place the old one on the new one, line up the top, hold it in place firmly, score with a xacto pencil knife along the new saddle using the old one as a guide, then fill in that line with pencil. Then you can remove excess material by chucking it in a small vise, use a file, get near the line, and finish it off with the sandpaper as described above.

If you don't have all that, then patience with a piece of 100 grit will get you there.

Also, not only watch the perpendicular, but also watch that you don't taper the bottom from one end to the other.

Marking the bottom of the old saddle on to the new one and following that reference is your best bet.

ps, if your saddle is a bit too thick, simply lay it on its fat side and remove some thickness by dragging it around the paper. Be sure to check frequently so you don't sand it too thin.

-And don't force a thick saddle into the bridge slot. Good way to crack a rosewood bridge. Sand the flat sides until it fits snugly, but completely in.
 
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LtDave32

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Get that saddle.

Nothing is really "drop in", as replacement saddles have extra meat so you can overcome issues your existing saddle may have.

But PM me with pics, and I'll walk you through it. Or start a thread.

You'll do fine.
 

HardCore Troubadour

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@LtDave32 the Martin has a compensated saddle.......I am guessing I need to replace with a compensated saddle?

I will measure it this afternoon.
 

B. Howard

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the Martin has a compensated saddle.......I am guessing I need to replace with a compensated saddle?
Have you checked the intonation?

When a player actually needs one I make them by hand. Many cases, especially ones with the plastic saddles with the B string step in them, intonation is actually improved with a plain traditional bone saddle and a proper set up.
 

HardCore Troubadour

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Thanks, the intonation has always been good.

I have a bone saddle coming and have been watching some videos etc. etc.

I will continue to study until it gets here and then take a crack at it.
 




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